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Boomkat Product Review:
For this, their highly anticipated second album, Maximo Park focus and hone their wordy indie punk, achieving new levels of sophistication along the way. Vocalist Paul Smith is clearly gunning for that Morrissey-style approach to lyric writing with a slew of observational witticisms running through the album, but lines like "She goes out, she gets drunk/She gets off and she goes until she gives in/It's her life and her life is worth living." on 'Girls Who Play Guitars' - an apparent endorsement of female hedonism - ultimately come across as both a bit patronising, and given that these guys are from Newcastle (regional stereotyping alert), entirely unnecessary. The instrumentation has expanded somewhat since A Certain Trigger, with far more synth and keyboard lines adding texture to all those jagged guitar parts, but not to the point where the energetic rock aesthetic of old is compromised. There are plenty of highlights here, especially the impassioned, nostalgia-laden 'By The Monument' and the Smiths-alike 'Books From Boxes'. A solid, surefooted sophomore effort.